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Goin' Crazy From The Heat - Broncos Morning Workout and Thoughts From The Coach

Another burner of a day in Dallas where the Broncos continue to prepare for Saturday's contest against the Cowboys.  We start it off with Andrew Mason's report. Some excerpts below --

ATTENDANCE REPORT: A right calf injury sidelined Demetrin Veal … Wide receivers Rod Smith and Brandon Stokley remained sidelined, but Stokley caught passes lightly during the session … Offensive tackles Jacob Rogers and Ryan Harris both remained out with knee and back injuries, and Ben Hamilton remained sidelined due to his concussion … Four defensive linemen did not practice: Gerard Warren, Sam Adams, Demetrin Veal and Alvin McKinley.

ANOTHER CHANGE UP FRONT: Just over one week after Montrae Holland moved up to the first team at right guard, Adam Meadows found himself running with the ones as right tackle, while Monday night starter Erik Pears was with the second unit at left tackle during Wednesday morning’s practice. Meadows had been seeing some time at both left and right tackles with the first string during practices in which first-team left tackle Matt Lepsis did not participate.

"We try to switch about every other practice," Meadows said.

While Meadows ascended to the first team on the depth chart at right tackle last November when George Foster struggled, he did not see much playing time as he grappled with a hamstring injury. He first began dealing with hamstring problems at training camp last season, when he joined the Broncos and jumped right into work after two years out of football. Such problems have not cropped up this year.

"Last year I came in, I was here five days and I pulled a hamstring and I missed two weeks after that. Then I pulled a hamstring at the end of the year," Meadows recalled.

"I think it was a matter of conditioning. But I definitely spent time in the offseason getting in shape, and being able to stay on the field is the fruit of that.

"Am I hurting? Yeah, but I think we’re all hurting. I feel pretty good."

WHO’S WHERE: Aside from the Pears/Meadows shift at right tackle, the first-team offensive line remained the same as Wednesday morning, with Matt Lepsis at left tackle, Chris Myers at left guard, Tom Nalen at center and Montrae Holland lining up at right guard … With Adams absent, Jimmy Kennedy took his spot on the first team at defensive tackle alongside Amon Gordon … Nate Webster lined up with the first team at strongside linebacker.

JUST SCRAPPING: The punt work during the special-teams portion of practice saw a few players shove each other. The most dramatic came when Denver’s Bill Alford and Dallas’ Jerheme Urban shoved each other, although their tussle was quickly defused by teammates.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS: Red zone work, in both team, seven-on-seven and one-on-one formats … Punt and special teams work.

NOTABLE PLAYS AND PLAYERS: Daniel Graham, early in the seven-on-seven period of practice, getting a step on Dallas safety Roy Williams for a reception in the right flat from Jay Cutler … Tony Scheffler recovered from a lost potential touchdown, making a catch in the back of the end zone during team work … Cutler and Quincy Morgan, collaborating on a letter-perfect touchdown in one-on-one work that saw the football drop perfectly into Morgan’s grasp just inches beyond the outstretched hands of Dallas cornerback Anthony Henry … Glenn Martinez had a tough outing in his second day back; he dropped two passes in one-on-one work then broke open downfield in seven-on-seven work, only to have the Patrick Ramsey pass intercepted by Cowboys cornerback Courtney Brown. Martinez later grabbed a pass from Ramsey that was behind him, reaching back to snare the football … Brandon Marshall made a pair of receptions in tight coverage during team work … Ian Gold notched an interception … Deion Sanders attended practice and conversed with Shanahan; the two were together with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 … Jim Bates verbally lacerated his players at one point during team work. "If you can’t leverage-tackle here, we’ll move on, I’ll guaran-damn-tee you that!" he bellowed. "I’m tired of seeing that."
Of course, the coach had his own thoughts on the day's events....
On the heat at Thursday morning's practice --
"It wasn't too bad today. We got a little cloud cover early, and it was a good practice. From a temperature standpoint, we had a little bit of heat but not too much and we got a good workout in."

On Deion Sanders watching Thursday morning's practice and how he compares to Denver CB Champ Bailey --
"These guys are two of the greatest corners, in my opinion, to ever play the game. It is fun to see Deion. Obviously he was the difference in our team winning the Super Bowl in San Francisco. In addition to him, there was Gary Plummer and Ken Norton from the NFC Championships years to kind of dominate that last year and he was a big part of it. They both have great speed, they dare you to throw the underneath route because they will pick it off every time and they have the speed to run down any ball that's thrown by the quarterback. You don't run across those guys very often."

On TE Tony Scheffler --
"Tony came back and had a good team practice. He just has to keep on working through his injury. It is healed, he just has to work on getting himself more comfortable and getting back in football shape, but it looks like there is no problem with the leg."

On WR Brandon Marshall --
"Same thing with Brandon. Brandon is healed, he is going to have some scare tissue every once in a while but he has done a great job working through it. He is going two practices a day, but he also has to get back in football shape so this has helped him quite a bit. You will be able to see both of them Saturday night."

On the game against the Cowboys --
"It will be pretty much the same. We are looking at the basics. We know what they are going to do and they know what we are going to do. We are not going to game plan anything, we are just going to go out there and get a chance to see our guys play. It is that part of the year where, you want to win the game, but you also want to evaluate players. We will get a chance to see some of our starters play as well as our second, third and fourth teamers. The ultimate goal for the end is getting your team ready to play in the opener and also finding the best three players at that position as well as for your practice squad."

On running backs --
"I really don't care how the backs get the yardage. People said we were a two running back team last year, but we were well over 2,000 yards rushing. What you want is production and hopefully we will get that and Dallas will get that. I think you take a look at (Julius) Jones and (Marion) Barber, both very class players, both want the football and I think they are pretty healthy. They have two guys that are very productive both in short yardage and in long yardage situations. That is a good problem to have."

On Darrent Williams' mother visiting the Broncos --
"She is going to stop by today. We will get a chance to talk with her today. We have had a number of players talk with her. Obviously, it is going to be a private situation for obvious reasons but she will stop by today. There are a number of people that are very close to Rosalind (Williams). Many of the players have had contact with her for a year, year and a half, and they are going to get a chance to see her as well as myself."

On DE Jarvis Moss' recovery --
"Jarvis has been hurt the last couple days, but he has to go through a healing process. Before he got hurt he was looking extremely good and hopefully he can pick up where he left off."

On his expectations of Moss --
"Like most rookies, you won't know until they actually go out there and do it. Obviously, a first round draft choice, we hope that he can help our football team win."

On the competition level of the Broncos' practices with Dallas --
"Any time you get two teams practicing against each other, there is going to be a lot of energy and that is why we are here. The third week of camp is the hardest to get your team going. You practice two days against the Dallas Cowboys, our players are ready to practice and their players are ready to practice. We are going against a football team that has a chance to do very well this year. It is a different type of scheme on offense and defense so we are getting different looks. It is a plus for both sides."